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Northern I-5 lanes closed near exit 60 after truck hits bridge

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I-5 exit 60 bridge damage

Damage to the state Route 506 overpass after being struck by a truck on Thursday, Sept. 22.

VADER — The northbound Interstate 5 lanes were closed outside Vader for several hours Thursday after a truck struck the state Route 506 overpass.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reported around 10:40 a.m. that a log truck hit the bottom of the bridge over the interstate, causing debris to cover all the northbound lanes. The department set up a detour through the on-ramp and off-ramp for exit 60 while they evaluated the extent of the damage to the bridge.

WSDOT regional spokeswoman Kelly Hanahan said it appeared that the same truck hit the girders over the Cowlitz River Bridge near exit 59 shortly before striking the overpass. Washington State Patrol is investigating to locate the driver.

The southbound side of the bridge is currently undergoing repairs after a truck hit the overpass in July 2021. Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation to address the damage and construction to repair the southbound side began in August 2022.

On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation announced an overnight closure of I-5 on Sept. 27 to install new girders on that side of the bridge. Hanahan said Thursday it was unclear how the new collision would impact the repair plans for the bridge on the southbound section.

According to the department’s Transportation Management Center, the exit 60 overpass had been struck by vehicles 11 times in the last 10 years.

Brennen Kauffman is the government and politics reporter for the Daily News, covering topics from city council debates to Congressional races. He can be reached for story ideas at 360-577-7828.


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